Czech Parliament Puts Delayed Incentives Back on Track


The Czech government has ended months of delay in implementing this year's round of cash back film production incentives, a systemic snag caused by the collapse of the administration of Petr Nečas in June.

News agency ČTK reports outgoing Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok's announcement that the State Cinematography Fund, part of an audiovisual law passed early this year, can now finally put 132 m CZK (5.1m EUR) in incentives for foreign and domestic filmmakers online.

The new law was initially held up while it was being reviewed by the European Commission but passed muster in August when its film industry support structures were determined to be in compliance with international standards.

The final approval by Czech parliament will allow a flood of applicants to finally make their claims for 20 percent rebates on local production spends - a benefit expected by major international productions months earlier. Many have been stewing all summer as the review process dragged on.

The fund will accept applications until 3 October for financial support for creation, production, distribution and promotion of new Czech films, as well as technological development and cinematography to upgrade projects, publishing, education activities and film festivals.

Some 30 m CZK has been spent on feature productions already because they were not supported last year due to lack of funds. In 2012 the fund held just 102 m CZK, the lowest sum since 2005 and about half of what the fund held the year before. The new audiovisual law taps private sources including broadcasters, which is expected to vastly improve its longterm health.